09 June 2018

9 June ND: Ex-CEC, experts challenge election commission's theory on VVPAT failure/ Pranab's visit lends credibility to RSS, its politics:Jamaat-E-Islami Hind

باسمہٖ تعالیٰNEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
09 June 2018:24 Ramazan 1439: Vol:10, No:41
Former CEC, experts challenge election commission's theory on VVPAT failure
https://thewire.in/Govt /experts-challenge-election-commission-on-vvpat-failure
New Delhi: Election Commission on Friday declared that the reason behind the malfunctioning of a large number of voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines during the recently held by-polls to Kairana and Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary constituencies was due to the “failure of contrast sensor” and “failure of length sensor” and that both these errors were “mainly caused by excessive exposure to illumination in the polling station”.However, past and present EC officials present at a conclave on elections in India expressed surprise at this ‘finding’, since the VVPATs have undergone extensive tests under varying conditions in the past without malfunctioning .Speaking at the conclave on “EVMs, Election Funding and the Election Commission” organised by a group of retired civil servants and armed forces veterans at Indian Social Institute here, ex-Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi noted with concern that VVPAT machines were failing despite undergoing tests in all kinds of weather conditions. Quraishi, in whose term as CEC testing of VVPATs had taken place from 2011 till their introduction in an election in Nagaland in Sept. 2013, recalled how tests had first been conducted in wet and humid Kerala, dry and hot Jaisalmer,cold high-altitude of Ladakh, rain-soaked Cherrapunji and Delhi. He said that since many machines had malfunctioned after the first round of tests, the necessary changes were made and they were again tested in all these five different locations.Wondering how Election Commission was now saying that these machines malfunctioned during the polls on May 28 due to heat, he said it appeared unlikely to be the cause as these machines had been tested in the extreme heat of Jaisalmer, which was hotter than the constituencies where they are said to have not worked properly.Quraishi was also of the view that when it came to VVPATs, there was a need to sample more of them after every election as the current practice of taking the count of just one polling station in every constitutency was too little. While the Supreme Court has not directed the EC on what percentage of the VVPATs should be counted, Quraishi said it would be best if the commission went for a significant percentage. “It is wrong to say that VVPAT counting would delay the results. You can always deploy more hands for the job to ensure that they too get counted by the time the electronic votes are.”Stating that the Supreme Court has examined VVPATs, Quraishi said the EC only has to operate them. He also suggested that the winner-loser or other contestants should be allowed to select a few machines at random for tallying VVPAT votes.Raising questions on the reliability of VVPATs, convener of the Forum for Electoral Integrity, retired IAS officer MG Devasahayam said the counting of votes of these machines in just one polling station amounted to just 0.4-0.5% of all votes polled and therefore their use was akin to “marginal tokenism”.He demanded that to win the confidence of the people, a random sample of paper audit trail should be drawn from machines from booths or polling stations which record very high or low turnout, which have voters who are predominantly from backward castes or minorities and the like. He also noted that the VVPAT malfunction percentage in the by-elections was much higher than the admissible level of 5% and stood at 20.82% for Kairana, 19.27% for Bhandara-Gondia and 13.16% for Palghar.A member of the technical expert committee of the EC, Rajat Moona, while discussing the unique technical features of VVPATs, said that “they are not only thermal printers, their print does not fade for five years unlike those of other similar devices which become faint within a few days”. He also said VVPATs are “encapsulated devices” which work independently and have different sensors which even keep a measure of the length of its tape and ensure that it remains at 99 mm. He said the quality of print, contrast and the fact that every slip is supposed to drop in the box are all monitored by the machine.A former DG of Centre for Developed and Advanced Computing, Moona said “each VVPAT machine goes through a temperature-humidity cycle”. He said behind the recent failure of these machines were caused by “multiple factors”,including “not enough maturity in handling them”.thewire
US group to it No bogus voters in MP: EC probe
New Delhi: Based on the reports submitted by two teams constituted to probe the Congress’s allegations that there were at least 60 lakh bogus voters listed in Madhya Pradesh, the Election Commission has not found any substance in the charges.A delegation of Congress leaders, led by Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, had recently met Election Commission to raise the issue. Subsequently, the electoral body constituted two teams for verification. While one team covered the Assembly constituencies of Narela and Bhojpur, the other examined the records of the Hoshangabad and the Seoni-Malwa Assembly constituencies. The teams reached Madhya Pradesh on June 4.thehindu
US groupto its  govt: ‘Make in India’ used to justify protectionist measures
World’s largest association of medical device companies, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), is learnt to have conveyed to 2 senior Trump administration officials that NDA Govt ’s flagship ‘Make in India’ platform has been used to “justify protectionist measures” — and has “not encouraged US medical technology firms to increase their presence in India”. Indian Express has learnt that AdvaMed, in its briefing memo for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last year, conveyed that the scheme has been “used by parts of the (Indian) Govt  to justify protectionist measures such as import tariff hikes and preferential market access policies”.According to memo, AdvaMed stated that “in addition to price controls as a barrier, regulatory environment in India continues to be opaque and unpredictable”.In order to make medical devices affordable, India had imposed price caps on coronary stents and knee implants in Feb and Aug. 2017. AdvaMed has strongly opposed these caps stating that it has “potential to block innovations and limit access to world-class medical care and options to deserving patients”. Washington DC-based AdvaMed, which represents US pharma and tech majors such as Abbott, Boston Scientific Corporation, Medtronic, BD, Pfizer, Apple and Microsoft, is not the only industry group that has complained about India’s “protectionist” measures. US President Donald Trump has referred to the duty on import of completely built American bikes, such as Harley-Davidson, into India as an example of “discriminatory” trade practice.In an address to a joint session of Congress in Feb.2017, President hinted at mistreatment to Harley-Davidson due to high import duties of as much as 100% in foreign markets, but did not name India. On Feb.26, days after India announcedan abrupt slashing of duties on imported motorcycles, Trump made it clear that he did not think the cuts were enough.’India’s medical device technology market is worth about $6 billion, and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2025.Indian express
India, Myanmar hold talks, discuss return of displaced Rohingyas
New Delhi: India and Myanmar held 17th round of Foreign Office Consultations to review bilateral ties with focus on defence and security ties.The two countries discussed the situation in the Rakhine state and the return of displaced Rohingyas as Myanmar's army and civilian leadership, according to an AFP report, Friday held a rare "national security" meeting to discuss an internal investigation into the Rohingya crisis.While the Indian side was led by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, Myanmar was represented by U Myint Thu, permanent secretary, Myanmar ministry of foreign affairs. During the discussions, the two sides reviewed the complete range of bilateral relations, including high level visits, security and defence related issues, boundary matters and border management, trade and commerce, development cooperation, connectivity, cultural and consular matters."They also exchanged views on sub-regional, regional and global issues of mutual interest," said the Govt  in a statement.TOI
Pranab's visit lends credibility to RSS, its politics:Jamaat
New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) said that former President Pranab Mukherjee visiting the RSS headquarters in Nagpur on Thursday lent a "credibility of sorts to RSS and its politics"."RSS keeps inviting prominent persons to its events.They have every right to invite anyone they like. Also, nobody has a right either to question Pranab Mukherjee's decision to go there. But our concern is that such a visit by a former President of India, who has espoused values of secularism and brotherhood all his life, lends some sort of credibility to RSS and its politics," said its General Secretary Mohammed Salim Engineer.He said that "everybody knows" what kind of politics RSS does and what sort of tactics it uses.On Mukherjee's speech at the event -- who underlined that India's multiple faiths and cultures made it tolerant and that the soul of the nation resided in its pluralism and secularism -- Salim Engineer said that the former President has spoken "nothing new"."He has often been saying such things. This is not new. Even the RSS people too sometimes speak of pluralism and unity in the public. However, perhaps it is not necessary to go all the way to Nagpur to share your thoughts with RSS cadres. It gives a message that in some way you are endorsing the RSS stand," he said.-IANS/ business-standard
India’s Nationhood Is Not One Language, One Religion, One Enemy: Pranab
RSS basks in afterglow of Pranab’s HQ visit
New Delhi: In the midst of the heated political debate prior to and after former President Pranab Mukherjee’s speech at the RSS HQRS, Sangh leaders feel the event, as well as RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s address, gave the saffron organisation unprecedented mileage.The event is also being utilised by the Sangh and BJP leaders to argue how Bhagwat insisted on “unity in diversity” and said RSS did not stand only for Hindu society in contrast with the manner in which it is treated as “untouchable”, giving another dimension to the “intolerance” narrative.The high-wattage event put the spotlight squarely on the RSS and its chief along with Mukherjee and Bhagwat used the occasion to go to considerable lengths in suggesting that the organisation is not exclusivist. “There are times when we had our differences but we are all sons of the same soil — India. Diversity should be accepted, it’s good. We are all one, even in this diversity. Govt alone cannot do everything, citizens also have to contribute. Only then can a country change,” he said. RSS chief’s comments that Mukherjee and RSS had their views but could hear each other made the occasion special even as Bhagwat said the Sangh often invites people from different backgrounds. Outfit sources say Bhagwat’s specific mention was an afterthought and a reaction to comments objecting to Mukherjee attending an event at HQ.TOI
Man behind circulating Pranab’s fake photo with RSS cap is followed by Narendra Modi on Twitter
Just days after a photo of former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, wearing RSS cap and standing with RSS salute went viral, it has emerged that the culprit behind morphing his image was being followed by PM  Narendra Modi.The photo of Mukherjee was taken from an event at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, where Mukherjee had chosen to be the right-wing organisation’s guest despite opposition from his own party.His daughter and a Congress leader, Sharmistha Mukherjee had reacted with ‘I-told-you-so’ comments. She wrote, “See, this is exactly what I was fearing & warned my father about. Not even few hours have passed, but BJP/RSS dirty tricks dept is at work in full swing!”Meanwhile a report by India Today said that the man responsible for faking Mukherjee’s image was one Mihir Jha, who is ‘proud to be followed by PM Narendra Modi’ on Twitter. According to India Today report, it was Jha, who had first requested his friends, experts in photoshopping images, to see if Mukherjee’s image could be doctored to make him look like he was wearing an RSS cap.jantakareporter
Hurriyat leaders see NIA probe as hurdle in talks between Centre, separatists
New Delhi: The future of the delicately poised dialogue between the Govt  at the Centre and separatists in Kashmir is closely linked to NIA probe into terror funding, multiple Govt  officials involved with the backchannel parleys said.“Leaders of the Hurriyat Conference have pointed to the charge sheets filed in court by the NIA, asking how the case and talks can go side by side,’’ one official said on condition of anonymity. The ground is being prepared for a dialogue with the separatists. In response to an offer of talks by home minister Rajnath Singh, the Joint Resistance Leadership indicated it would be ready for a dialogue provided the Govt  of India spoke in one voice and with clarity.NIA’s probe, however, is a hurdle.PTI
Work only for Hindus, who have voted for us, not for Muslims: BJP MLA to corporators
New Delhi:A BJP MLA from Karnataka, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, recently quoted controversy by instructing corporators to work only for Hindus, who have voted for him, and not for Muslims. Video of his speech has gone viral on social media.“I had called all corporators and have told them that they should work for Hindus and not Muslims…who have voted for me in Bijapur,” Yatnal is purportedly heard saying in the video, to which the crowd responded by saying “Hindus”.“I had said no to Muslims initially…I had instructed my people that those with topi (cap) and burkha should not come and stand in my office or beside me,” he said.According to reports, Yatnal made these statements at a function on June 4 in Vijayapura.indianexpress
Will bring Jharkhand Muslims into Hindu fold: Hindu Samhati founder
Kolkata:Hindu Samhati founder Tapan Ghosh has announced he would soon begin a ‘ghar wapsi’ programme under his ‘Deogarh project’’ to bring Muslims into the Hindu fold in Jharkhand.“We are still figuring out how to do this. But one thing we will initiate is the concept of daawats that the Muslims use when they want to convert a community. The community is invited for feasts and we will also do this,’’ Ghosh said.Hindu Samhati had invited 14 members of a Muslim family to a rally in Kolkata on Feb.14, claiming it had conducted their ‘ghar wapsi’ while calling for similar programmes across West Bengal. “Unlike the anti-love jihad programme, we have not managed that many ghar wapsis in Bengal. There have been around 25 ghar wapsis, which is a small number,’’said Ghosh, who stepped down as Hindu Samhati head last year and appointed Debtanu Bhattacharya as his successor.Ghosh plans proselytization drive under auspices of Ram Krishna Vivekananda Sewa Ashram in Deogarh. Indian Express
Naqvi meets Delhi Bishop under BJP's contact campaign
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has called on Bishop of Delhi Warris K Masih at his residence here as part of BJP's 'contact for support' campaign ahead of 2019 general polls and shared the achievements of Modi Govt  in the last four years. Naqvi said that he sought Masih's blessings for development, peace and prosperity in the country, besides apprising him of the achievements of Modi Govt. He termed the response of the Christian leader as “positive”.Naqvi said Modi Govt  was committed to inclusive growth and would continue to work in that direction in future. Bishop Waris Masih said Christian community appreciates the work done, especially for minorities, by the Modi Govt  in the last 4 years, and extended best wishes to the Govt  for working towards ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas' (together with all, development for all).Prominent people from various Christian educational institutions, Churches and social field were also present during the meeting.The meeting came in the backdrop of controversies over letters by Delhi Archbishop Anil Coutos and Archbishop of Goa and Daman Father Filipe Neri Ferrao to Christians.PTI
2nd NRC draft on June 30, officials review law-and-order situation in lower Assam districts
Guwahati :Ahead of the publication of the second draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam slated on June 30, senior state Govt  officials reviewed the law and order situation of 5 lower Assam districts on Friday.The team led by Chief Secretary T Y Das and DGP Kuladhar Saikia visited Nalbari and took stock of the law-and-order and internal security situations of Kamrup Rural, Nalbari, Baksa, Barpeta and Darrang districts, an official release said.The updation work of NRC was completed on May 31 and the second draft is scheduled to be released on June 30.DCPs, SPs and senior officials of the force, Army and central paramilitary forces were present during the meeting which discussed various issues related to the NRC updating process, the release said.The importance of constant interaction with people from all walks of life to allay any apprehension, the facilities available to all in respect of claims and objections and other related issues were discussed, it said, adding an exhaustive awareness programme would be launched for the purpose.PTI
NRC fallout: Assam madrassa makes family legacy documents a must for admission
Guwahati: Darul Uloom Banskandi, a 121-year old Islamic seminary in Barak Valley's Cachar district, has made it mandatory for students seeking admission to the institution in the current academic session to provide family legacy documents up to the year 1971.The move comes against the backdrop of an uproar over the citizenship bill and the ongoing process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Voter identity cards have also been sought for students aged 18 or above.The decision was taken last month by governing body of Darul Uloom to clear "suspicion" about madrassas admitting illegal migrants and to ward off charges that these centres are breeding grounds for jihadi activities."Our step is to clear all suspicion regarding madrassas. By making the legacy data up to 1971 mandatory for seeking admission to Darul Uloom, we want to demonstrate that only genuine Indian citizens study in our seminary," seminary chairman, Maulana Mohammad Yahya, said.By making family legacy documents mandatory, the seminary has followed NRC update criteria. A mohaddis (professor) at Darul Uloom Banskandi, Hamid Ahmed, said once legacy documents are submitted there would be no room for suspicion about the activities of madrassas and citizenship of students.TOI
In Assam madrasa, students have to prove kin settled before 1971
Citizenship Bill an Attempt to Grant Citizenship to Illegal Migrants from Minority Communities: Mizoram CM
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is an attempt to grant citizenship to a particular religious community from outside the country, this was stated by Mizoram CM, Bhawan Lal Thanhawla. Addressing a political session at Congress Thanhawla mentioned that BJP led Central Govt  has no real intention of according citizenship to Muslim and Christian migrants.“ The proposed citizenship bill is an attempt to grant citizenship to illegal migrants from the minority communities especially the Hindus from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India and stayed in the country for six years. Central Govt  has no real intention of covering Muslim and Christian minorities under the bill,” said Thanhawla, adding, “My Govt  has been strongly opposing the bill right from the beginning.”northeasttoday
 Communal Tension in Hazaribagh Over a Facebook post
Communal clashes broke out between two religious groups in Jhanda chowk of Hazaribagh district, Jharkhand over an “objectionable” Facebook post.The social media post sparked a large-scale violence in the region, leading to the deployment of police to contain the situation. Few vehicles were set ablaze and shops were shut down. Both the communities were reportedly involved in heavy stone pelting, resulting in injuries on both the sides.The injured were rushed to the local hospital. As per the sources, Facebook post regarding Prophet snowballed into a communal flare-up in the Hazaribagh district. A boy from the Hindu community had posted a “derogatory” post on Prophet Mohammad on June 5, which reportedly angered people from the Muslim community. Few people from the community went on to file a complaint regarding the social media post. 5 arrests were made, including the person who had written the post in question.Following the arrests, minor skirmishes were reported in Hazaribagh district, which later swelled up into a communal flare on June 7. “People from the Muslim community had lodged a complaint regarding the social media post. They had identified the person who had made such remarks. The person was from Hindu community. He, along with four others, were arrested and were booked for the deliberate act intended to outrage religious feeling under 295 A IPC,” said SP Anish Gupta.newsclick
JNU student leader Umar Khalid receives death threat, files police complaint
New Delhi: JNU student leader Umar Khalid has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police, alleging he has received death threats from a man who identified himself as fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari, a senior official said on Saturday.Dalit leader and Independent MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani too alleged on Friday that he has received death threats from Pujari.On Friday, Khalid approached the police with a complaint over the threats and a case was registered, the police official said, adding that they are investigating the matter. Khalid tweeted he has asked for police protection.“Filed a complaint with @DelhiPolice regarding Ravi Pujari’s death threat to Jignesh and me. He said that I am on his HIT LIST! I have asked for police protection, given the fact that this is the same person who had previously also issued similar threats of killing me in Feb 2016 (sic),” he said.In 2016, his father Dr SQR Ilyas had filed a police complaint, claiming he received a phone call “threatening to kill” his son if he doesn’t leave the country.PTI
Same gun used to kill Gauri Lankesh, Kalburgi: report
Bengaluru:The same gun was used to kill journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi in Karnataka, the state forensic science laboratory has confirmed in a report, sources in SIT said.The forensic report submitted to the SIT probing the killing of Lankesh is part of the first chargesheet filed recently by SIT naming K T Naveen Kumar as an accused.This is the first official confirmation of the link between the two killings which happened after a gap of two years of each other.Kalburgi (77) was shot dead in his house on Aug30, 2015, in Dharwad and 55-year old Lankesh on September 5, 2017 in Bengaluru.PTI
Letter seized from activist's house speaks of Naxals mulling over ‘another Rajiv Gandhi incident’: Pune police
Pune:A letter retrieved from the house of one of 5 recently arrested activists recently for having links with the outlawed CPI (Maoist) speaks of Naxalites mulling over “another Rajiv Gandhi incident” as part of “concrete steps to end the Modi raj,” Pune police submitted before Sessions court in Pune.Teams of the police on Wednesday arrested noted Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, prominent human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, tribal activist Mahesh Raut and Nagpur University English Professor Shoma Sen from Nagpur and activist Rona Wilson from New Delhi.The arrests were made for their alleged linkages with Naxalism, their role in organising the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ on December 31 last and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon violence the next day.In their submission on Thursday, the police said they seized the letter from Wilson’s house in New Delhi in which ultras, among other things, talk about “the requirement of ₹8 crore for an annual supply of M-4 carbines and 4 lakh rounds.” Letter also allegedly speaks about pulling off “another Rajiv Gandhi type incident” by “targeting his [PM Modi’s] road shows”, special public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar told the court.All 5 arrested were produced before the Sessions court on Thursday, which remanded them in police custody till June 14. thehindu
Maoist ideologue says ‘plot’ to assassinate PM concocted to prop up Modi’s image
Hyderabad:Revolutionary writer and Maoist ideologue P Vara Vara Rao on Friday rubbished the Pune police’s claims that they have seized an incriminating letter that quotes him as being part of a plot to assassinate PM  Narendra Modi. The letter then goes on to cite Rao and Surendra Gadling, an advocate who was also arrested by the Pune police in Mumbai, as the Maoists’ guiding force in carrying out successful attacks. Rao said he knew Gadling and Jacob but was not involved in any plot to kill Modi. “People arrested by the Pune police had all been working for the downtrodden and the release of political prisoners. They are not involved in murder politics,” he added.Alleging that the plot was concocted by the Pune police to prop up Modi’s image, Rao said Maoists in the country do not have the practical ability to assassinate the PM . “In any case, I have absolutely nothing to do with the claims made in the letter. The police cannot do anything other than arrest me and foist false cases against me,” said Rao.HT
Witness deposes in Sohrabuddin case: ‘Uncle, I won’t return, Prajapati told me 3 days before his death’
Mumbai:3 days before Tulsiram Prajapati was killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2006, he told his co-inmate in jail that he was going for a court hearing and would not return. This was claimed by the co-inmate while deposing as a prosecution witness in the alleged fake encounters of Prajapati and Sohrabuddin Sheikh in court on Friday. The witness, who was lodged in Udaipur central jail from 2002, said that Prajapati spoke to him before leaving for a hearing in Ahmedabad on Dec 25, 2006.“He told me ‘Uncle, main ab wapas nahi aaunga (I won’t return now)’. The next day, I read in the papers that Prajapati had fled from custody. All of us in jail knew he would be killed in an encounter. The next day, we were informed that he was killed in an encounter,” the witness said.Months before his death, Prajapati had written to various authorities claiming he would be killed by policemen in a staged encounter, the witness said.64-year-old resident of Rajasthan said he had helped Prajapati draft applications to send to various authorities, including NHRC. He claimed that Prajapati had told him the reason for the threat to his life, and that he had named Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria as well as Gujarat and Rajasthan policemen.indianexpress
Consider asking media not to use the word ‘Dalit’, Bombay HC tells I&B ministry
Mumbai: Bombay high court has asked the Union Ministry of I&B to consider issuing a direction to media to stop using the word ‘Dalit’, following a circular advising Govt  officials against using the word.Nagpur bench of the high court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pankaj Meshram, seeking removal of the word Dalit from all Govt  documents and communication.“As the central Govt  has issued necessary directions to its officers, we find that it can also issue suitable directions as per the law to respondent no. 2 (Press Council) and the media to refrain from using the same word,” the bench comprising justices B P Dharmadhikari and ZA Haq said. Meshram’s lawyer SR Nanaware informed the court on June 6 that Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had issued a circular on March 15, advising the central and state Govt s to avoid the word ‘Dalit’ and instead use the term ‘person belonging to Scheduled Caste’.PTI
Dalit woman allegedly attacked for sitting on chair at school
Ahmedabad:A Dalit woman was allegedly attacked by a mob for sitting on a chair at a school in a village in Ahmedabad district, police said on Friday. The incident took place at Valthera village 2 days ago.Pallaviben Jadav (45), who works at an anganwadi (Govt -run nursery school), had been entrusted task of distributing Aadhaar cards, police said. According to the FIR registered at Kath police station, Jayraj Vegad, a local resident, was infuriated to see that Pallaviben was sitting on a chair while doing her work.As per the complaint lodged by Pallaviben’s husband Ganpat Jadav, Vegad asked her how she dared to sit on a chair being a Dalit, and kicked the chair, causing her to fall.PTI
Kathua gangrape-murder case: Witnesses not produced, Pathankot court summons Crime Branch SSP
Chandigarh:Pathankot District and Sessions Court on Friday directed SSP, Crime Branch, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar Jalla to appear in the court on Monday after none of the summoned witnesses in the Kathua gangrape and murder case were produced before the trial court. A day after the trial court framed charges against the 7 accused in the case, 17 witnesses had been summoned for examination. indianexpress
‘Do not kill me, I am an Assamese: Mob lynches two young men suspecting them to be child abductors
A mob in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on Friday beat to death 2 young men from Guwahati who they suspected to be child abductors, Time8 reported. The men – Niloptal Das and Abhijeet Nath – were artistes based in Goa and were back home for the Bohag Bihu festival.In a purported video of the attack that was circulated on social media, Das is heard pleading with the attackers. “Do not kill me…please do not beat me,” he says. “I am an Assamese. Believe me, I am speaking truth.My father’s name is Gopal Chandra Das and mother’s name is Radhika Das…please let me go.” Mob did not heed his pleas and continued to beat him with bamboo sticks.scroll.in
Kamal Nath: In talks with BSP, all smaller parties… nothing is signed, sealed up till now
A month into his role as chief of MP Congress, veteran party leader Kamal Nath says he is confident of the party coming to power in the state. Speaking to the Indian Express, Nath says he is in talks with the BSP and other smaller parties over seat-sharing arrangement and suggests that the party’s face for the Assembly polls will be the farmer in distress, unemployed youth, the unhappy trader and the insecure women. He said, "We will be talking to all parties. We must remember that the politics of today is very fragmented. And this fragmentation dictates these kind of alignments. One must not forget that the BJP, which claimed they got a national mandate in 2014, got only 31 %  of the popular vote. That means 69 %  of the people voted against the BJP. And BJP trumpets they have a national mandate. So that is the way our parliamentary and legislative democracy works. So that is why we don’t want fragmentation of votes. So we will be talking to everybody. Nothing is signed, sealed up till now."Indian Express
Shatrugha, Yashwant, Togadia hit out at BJP in Mandsaur
Daloda (MP):BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha on Friday took a jibe at BJP national president Amit Shah’s recent visit to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence in an attempt to placate the political ally.“People are now going from door to door to seek support. Come around to my house too,” Sinha quipped during a farmers’ meeting at Daloda in Mandsaur district on Friday evening, much to his audience’s amusement.The actor-turned-politician was attending the meet to pay homage to 6 farmers who died in police action during an agitation in Mandsaur last year. Ex BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and VHP international president Praveen Togadia were also present at the event.Sinha, who has been at odds with the party’s central leadership, then said that a Govt  cannot be run on “jumlebaji (hyperbole)” — a term used by opposition parties to target the Modi Govt .Togadia slammed the state Govt  for shooting farmers. “Those who feed us and keep us alive are being killed and beaten to death,” he said. HT
After ouster from VHP, Togadia to form new outfit for Ram Temple construction
Indore: Firebrand Hindutva leader Praveen Togadia on Friday said he would form a new organisation for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya after his ouster from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.Togadia said he would announce the new outfit on June 24 and start a campaign to push for the construction of the temple at the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site. The new organization would expedite Hindutva agenda, he said. When asked how he would talk about Ram temple construction as the matter is pending with the Supreme Court, the Hindutva leader said the matter was still sub-judice when LK Advani had taken out Rath Yatra on the issue.news18
At Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid on last Friday of Ramzan — and ceasefire
Srinagar :On the main road outside Jamia Masjid, hundreds of youths, their faces covered with scarves, raise slogans of “azaadi”. A banner with pictures of several slain militants is tied on the mosque gates. This is Srinagar’s Nowhatta Chowk on the last Friday of Ramzan, and the last Friday before the Centre’s unilateral ceasefire is to run out.Men and women start trickling into the mosque from noon and as the mosque begins to fill, a row of youngsters queue up on its east side. T-shirts with slogans like “I am Kashmir”, “This is my Kashmir” can be spotted. They take pictures together, video-call friends and tell them about the plan for the day.Inside, as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq reads his Friday sermon before prayers, the youths prepare in the mosque’s restrooms for their march. They rub salt on their faces and help each other with the masks before stepping out.indianexpress
Punjab: Sikhs, Hindus make Iftar feast special for Muslims
Galib Ransingh: Iftar during Ramzan has always been special for members of the Muslim community at 2 villages in Jagraon as Sikh and Hindu villagers are the ones who get them eatables during these days to break the fast.Members of these communities at Galib Ransingh and Nathowal villages say they don’t do anything special, but just try to live up to the spirit of Punjabiyat."Since my childhood,I have seen Sikhs and Hindus in the village getting eatables for Muslim brothers for Iftar. In fact many of us have been joining the Muslim brothers for breaking the fast during Ramzan. Our Sikh and Hindu brothers bring fruits like bananas, mangoes, water melon and pakoras, samosas and sherbet. We feel proud of our values which give equal importance to every human being irrespective of their religion," said Navjot Singh of Galib Ransingh village, who is into vehicle business and has many Muslim friends. Muslim community members say that they feel touched by this gesture by the members of other communities."Out of 40 to 50 persons who attend Iftar at Hazrat Abu Bakkar Masjid, around 20 are from Sikh community and 10 are Hindus. Not only they bring fruits, pakoras for the Iftar, they also have those with us. I have been seeing this happening since I was a kid and I really feel proud of it,"said Muhammad Rafi, who owns a marriage palace. Galib Ransingh village has 125 Muslims and Hindus each and 1,500 Sikhs. Similar is the case in Nathowal village, around 30 kms from this village, where Sikhs and Hindus had come forward for repair and renovation of mosque some years back.TOI
HC declines to stay Telangana Govt Iftar party to Muslims
A PIL was filed today in the High Court seeking stay on the Telangana govt’s Ifthar party to the Muslims on the occasion of Ramzan festival. However, HC rejected the petitioner’s plea. The Court said it will hear the petitioner if there were any objections in this regard on Tuesday. Finding fault with State Govt for spending Muslim Minority funds for the Govt -sponsored Ifthar Party, Lubma Sarwath filed PIL petition.Siasat
CM in charge of 11 ministries as Karnataka ministers get portfolios
Bengaluru:The portfolio allocation for 27 ministers in the Congress-JDS coalition Govt  in Karnataka was completed on Friday, with CM  H D Kumaraswamy taking charge of 11 of the 47 allotted portfolios. Kumaraswamy will be in charge of key portfolios such as Finance, Energy, Intelligence and Infrastructure development, while his elder brother H D Revanna has been given charge of Public Works Dept.Deputy CM and Congress leader G Parameshwara will be in charge of the Home portfolio, Bengaluru City and Youth Empowerment. Among other senior Congress leaders, R V Deshpande has been given the Revenue Ministry, D K Shivakumar the Irrigation Ministry, and K J George the large, Medium Scale Industries, IT and Biotechnology portfolios.indianexpress
UP: 4 people die within 24 hours in Kanpur hospital, families blame failure of air conditioning system at ICU
Not taking any lessons from goof up over the deaths of 49 infants at a Govt  hospital in Farrukhabad. At least 4 people died at Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College (GSVM) in Kanpur after the alleged failure of air conditioning system in the ICU ward. However, the hospital authorities have denied the accusation saying that 2 deaths occurred due to cardiac arrest and other 2 due to chronic illness, not because of AC failure.According to reports, the air conditioning system in ICU wing of the hospital had not been working since Wednesday and a written complaint was submitted to the administration about it. It is learned that windows and doors around the wing were opened but it was not enough due to the heat wave across the city. NewsX
At 14th Century Khirki Mosque in Delhi, word ‘masjid’ erased from ASI board
New Delhi: With 3 guards stationed outside the 14th Century monument clueless, word ‘masjid’ repeatedly being removed from a board outside Khirki Mosque has become a mystery for authorities. Indian Express visited the monument on Friday — and discovered that on the blue board put up by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) outside the monument, the word ‘masjid’ had been painted over in white. One of the guards, stationed outside since 2008, said, “The first time this happened was a year-and-a-half ago…We told an ASI official and we were asked to rewrite ‘masjid’.The next day, it was smudged again… Some locals are convinced this is a fort built by Maharana Pratap.” The mosque is in news since it finds itself at the centre of a rising demand for namaz to be allowed there. Located near the cluster of Saket malls and surrounded by high-rises, the mosque was built by Malik Maqbul, who was the PM of Delhi Sultanate during Feroz Shah Tughlaq’s reign in the 14th Century. indian express
AMU refutes charges of copying in entrance exam
AMU has strongly refuted the allegations being spread by certain elements on social media that cases of copying took place in some entrance tests of University.Mujib Ullah Zuberi, Controller of Examination at AMU said that such allegations were totally baseless and unfounded as no report or complaint in this regard from any center has been received so far. He said that such accusations, aimed at sullying the image of the University and vilifying its reputation, are nothing but motivated and premeditated. TCN
Delhi HC allows converted girl to live with husband
New Delhi: Delhi High Court has permitted the girl to live with her husband and directed Jamia Nagar police to provide security to the married couple. The next hearing of the case will be held on July 12. The HC has declared it acceptable as the girl is an adult and has changed the religion with her own free will.The girl who is an MBBS doctor was working in a hospital in East Delhi. She left her job on May 14, and went to UP  with her boyfriend Mohammed Bilal. Following which her family members lodged a missing complaint with the police. Police apprehended 2 of Bilal’s friend and interrogated them. According to the advocate, police beat them harshly. siasat
Israeli forces kill 4 Palestinians, wound 600 in Gaza
Health officials in the Gaza Strip say the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during protests near the fence with Israel has risen to 4. Yousef al-Fasih, 29, was shot dead while demonstrating in eastern Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Wafa said. More than 600 people were wounded by Israeli forces, including photographer Mohammed Abed al-Baba, who was shot in the leg.Al-Baba, who has worked for AFP news agency in the Gaza Strip since 2000, was shot while clearly identified in a press vest and helmet, around 200 metres from the fence east of Jabalia in northern Gaza.For more than two months, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting along the fence with Israel, demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from 70 years ago. The mass Friday demonstrations have since continued.Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed 124 Palestinians in besieged coastal enclave and wounded more than 13,000 people.aljazeera
UN General Assembly calls for emergency meet on Gaza on Wednesday after Israeli firing kills Palestinians
UN General Assembly will hold an emergency meeting next Wednesday at 3 pm to vote on an Arab-backed resolution on Gaza, the body's president Miroslav Lajcak announced on Friday. The resolution will condemn Israel, and will be similar to one vetoed by the US in the Security Council last week, which called for protecting Palestinians from Israeli aggression, according to diplomats.It comes as 4 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border on Friday, as weeks of deadly clashes with protesters continued. AFP
Anti-Israel marches in Iraq, Iran in solidarity with Palestine to mark ‘Al Quds Day’
Thousands of Shiite Muslims marched in the capitals of Iran and Iraq on Friday to mark “Jerusalem Day,” in an annual protest against Israeli rule over the holy city and show of support for the Palestinians. Some burned Israeli flags and effigies of President Donald Trump.Later on Friday, thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were to head to the perimeter fence with Israel to stage the latest in a series of mass protests against the blockade of their territory by Israel and Egypt.In Iran’s capital of Tehran, thousands joined a Jerusalem Day march on Friday, chanting “Death to Israel” and burning a Trump effigy.In Iraq, thousands of Iran-backed Shiite militiamen in uniform marched through the streets of the capital of Baghdad on Friday, setting an Israeli flag on fire.AP
‘UAE buying Jerusalem properties on behalf of Israel’
A Palestinian businessman who is affiliated with former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan is planning to buy real estate in the Old City of Jerusalem on behalf of the UAE which is helping the occupation expand its illegal settlements, the deputy head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, warned yesterday.Khatib posted on Facebook that “an Emirati businessman very close to Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed, is planning to buy houses and properties adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular, with the help of a Jerusalemite businessman who works for Dahlan.” “They offered a resident of Jerusalem $ 5 million to buy his house which is adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque. When he refused, they raised the offer to $20 million, but the attempt to lure him was unsuccessful.”Khatib warned that these moves as similar to  those which took place in 2014 when “Bin Zayed’s regime” purchased houses for settlement institutions in the Silwan ​​and Wadi Hilwa areas in occupied Jerusalem.MEMO
Afghan Taliban announce Eid ceasefire after Ashraf Ghani's unconditional offer
Kabul: Afghan Taliban on Saturday announced a 3-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday at the end of this week, their first offer of its kind, following a ceasefire announced by the Govt  on Thursday.The militants said foreign forces would be excluded from the ceasefire and that operations against them would continue. They also said they would defend themselves against any attack. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced an unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban on Thursday, coinciding with the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, but excluding other militant groups, such as Islamic State.It was not immediately clear when the Taliban ceasefire would begin, as Eid starts when the moon is first sighted on either the 29th or 30th day of Ramadan, and the moon appears at different times across the country.Reuters
 'Russian' warplanes bomb Idlib, kill at least 44 people
Moscow denies its role in the overnight bombing of Zardana village that killed 44 people, including six children.Air attacks believed to have been carried out by Russia on a village in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province killed at least 44 people overnight, inflicting the highest death toll in a single attack on the region this year,a monitoring group said on Friday. "Warplanes, which are likely Russian, targeted the village of Zardana in northern rural Idlib overnight and caused the highest death toll in a single attack on the region including 11 women and 6 children," Rami Abdulrahman, the director of the group, said.  More than 60 people were also injured in the attacks that took place in the village of Zardana, said the Britain-based watchdog adding that the attack occurred after Muslims broke their Ramadan fast after sunset.aljazeera
Minister: Turkey to take control of PKK’s Mt. Qandil soon
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu on Saturday said Turkey is capable of taking control of northern Iraq’s Mount Qandil region whenever it wants.In an interview to CNN Turk, Soylu said: “Turkey will see its heroes in Qandil very soon. It is only a matter of timing.”Soylu noted that Qandil is now a close target for Turkey.Airstrikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq, where the group has its main base, near the Iranian border, have been carried out regularly since July 2015.middleeastmonitor
Lebanon freezes UNHCR staff permits over Syria refugees spat
Lebanon has ordered a freeze on residency applications submitted by staff of UNHCR accusing it of discouraging Syrian refugees from returning to their war-torn country. Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said on Friday the agency hindered the return of refugees by "spreading fear", adding that he would consider taking further measures against the body. According to a statement by the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNHCR staff were discouraging Syrians' return home by "asking specific questions that frighten them" related to the security situation in Syria and their repatriation without international oversight."UNHCR was telling them specifically 'do not return' which is not their mandate," Ghadi al-Khoury, an official at the foreign ministry, said. Al Jazeera.
UN:Attack on Yemen's Hudaida threatens up to 250000 lives
UN has warned that a military attack or siege by pro-Yemeni Govt  forces supported by a Saudi-led coalition on the port city of Hudaida will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.Lise Grande, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, said on Friday that humanitarian agencies "fear, in a prolonged worst case, that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything - even their lives".As many as 600,000 civilians are currently living in and around the rebel-held city, a vital lifeline through which most of Yemen's population gets food and medicine, according to estimates by the UN and its partners.UN warned that the likely "catastrophic humanitarian impact" would be worsened due to Hudaida's key role as the point of entry for some 70 % of Yemen's imports.  "Cutting off imports through Hudaida for any length of time will put Yemen's population at extreme, unjustifiable risk," Grande said. Meanwhile, heavy fighting in Yemen's Marib province left at least 20 Houthi rebels dead and several wounded, Yemen's military announced on Friday.aljazeera
Austria to shut 7 mosques, could expel dozens of imams as part of Govt action to crackdown on 'political Islam'
Austria is closing seven mosques and could expel dozens of imams from the country, the Govt  has announced. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Govt is shutting down a Turkish mosque and dissolving a group called Arab Religious Community, which runs 6 mosques. Austrian Govt's actions stem from a 2015 law, which bans foreign funding of religious groups and required Muslim societies to have "a positive fundamental view towards [Austria's] state and society"."Parallel societies, political Islam and tendencies toward radicalisation have no place in our country," Kurz said.Austria is home to an estimated 600,000 Muslims, mostly of Turkish origin. aljazeera
US soldier killed, 5 wounded in 'enemy attack' in Somalia
A US special operations soldier has been killed and five military personnel - including four American service members - wounded in an "enemy attack" in southwestern Somalia, according to US officials.US military's Africa Command said that attack occurred in Jubaland, where a large force comprising about 800 Somali, Kenyan and US troops were conducting an operation against al-Shabab fighters. aljazeera
Qatar denies preventing citizens from performing Umrah, Hajj in Saudi
 Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has denied claims that Doha is not allowing its citizens and residents from performing the Islamic rituals of Umrah and Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the Qatar News Agency reported.The ministry issued a statement in which it expressed great surprise at comments made by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah regarding the rights of Qatari citizens and residents to practice Islamic rituals in the Holy Land, saying the Kingdom’s statement did not offer anything new to resolve the obstacles put before Qatari Muslims since 2017.The Qatari ministry statement stressed that Saudi Arabia continues to put obstacles and arbitrary measures on those living in Qatar.middleeastmonitor
Rohingya upset UN agreement didn't address citizenship
Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled attacks in Myanmar say they are disappointed that a UN agreement signed earlier this week did not address one of their key demands: citizenship. Most refugees say they are desperate to go home, but fear going back unless they are given protection and citizenship.On Wednesday, Myanmar and UN agencies signed an agreement that could eventually lead to the return of some of the 700,000 Rohingya who fled persecution in their homeland and are now crowded into makeshift camps in Bangladesh. While the refugees welcomed the talks, they have also heard years of empty promises from the Govt  in Yangon.AP
Experts criticize new UN-Myanmar deal over Rohingya
Myanmar Army, govt hold rare ‘national security’ meeting over Rohingya crisis
Iraqi cleric Sadr announces disarmament initiative
Iraqi’s Muqtada al-Sadr called for a nationwide disarmament campaign and announced his Baghdad stronghold would be first to disarm just two days after an ammunitions cache exploded there and killed 18 people.Sadr, whose political bloc won Iraq’s parliamentary election in May, called on all armed groups to hand in their weapons to the Govt  and declared Baghdad’s Sadr City district would be a weapons-free area later this month.“Everyone must obey the orders and not stand in the way of this initiative. Everyone should hand over their weapons without any discussion because the blood of Iraqis is more valuable to us than anything else,” he told his supporters in a statement.The move appeared to be aimed at easing tensions between Sadr and the Govt .MEMO
Chinese torture allegedly kills Islamic scholar
Uyghur Islamic scholar Muhammad Salih Hajim has died in a Chinese political indoctrination camp, World Uyghur Congress (WUC) said. The Thursday statement noted that in Dec. 2017, Hajim(82) was held and subjected to political indoctrination and propaganda.Hajim has translated the Holy Quran from Arabic to Uyghur language, the international group of exiled Uyghur said. "[He] was very likely subjected to torture and ill-treatment during his imprisonment“Hajim’s death has occurred in the midst of a massive crackdown by the Chinese authorities on the Uyghur people in general and especially on their right to freedom of religion.“Hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of Uyghurs have been arrested across East Turkestan and sent to ‘re-education’ camps for peacefully practicing their religion, expressing themselves freely, or for having any dissident relatives or associates,” it added.Anadolu Agency
At Nagpur, Pranab Mukherjee lost an opportunity; Mohan Bhagwat seized it:Suhas Palshikar
Muslims are the 'others': Why Pranab Mukherjee's nationalism is hardly different from that of RSS:M Reyaz
Are Bengalis Turning Vegetarian?Jawhar Sircar
‘A great son of Mother India’?: Here’s what RSS founder KB Hedgewar said about Muslims:scroll

Anti-BJPism is propelling unlikely alliances today — just as anti-Congressism had done in past:Christophe Jaffrelot
Pranab Mukherjee at RSS HQ: Images Speak Louder Than Words:Ram Puniyani
There is no solution now for Kashmir: AS Dulat, ex RAW chief
Can only sadhus and not bishops comment on issues of national concern? Ram Puniyani
There Must Be No Double Standards in Using Public Funds for Religious Places:Faizan Mustafa
From Naxal Links to Modi Assassination Plot, Pune Police's Theories Branch Out:The Wire
Why Shekhar Gupta’s Objections To The Cobrapost Paid-Media Sting Are Disingenuous:caravanmagazine
MP: People forced to store drinking water in a septic tank

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 4:42 PM)


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